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Carole Reynolds has been with Sutherland for 18 of its 20 years - a span that provided her the rare opportunity to witness the making of one of the top models of the 1990s.
Shalom Harlow - one of the few that could arguably be called a supermodel (a word modelresource does NOT throw around lightly, but realistically Shalom did become a household name as a model, earned her fortune doing runway AND print and created a legacy that has her still garnering headlines today) - got her start when she was scouted by Sutherland's owner, Ann Sutherland, at a Cure concert.
"I remember Shalom in the class," Reynolds recalls. "I remember getting the contact sheets they would get when they practiced in front of the camera and thinking 'Hmmm, this girl's kind of interesting.'"
So interesting in fact, Harlow has amassed a fortune estimated in excess of US$10 million, and was voted the 1995 VH-1 Model of the Year. She hosted MTV's House of Style and proved that beyond her prowess in front of the still camera, she could also act. She has appeared in several films including Vanilla Sky and In & Out; and was recently cast in a starring role in the Fox TV series The Jury.
"There was so much publicity and speculation and interest in models at that time," explains Reynolds, "it elevated the whole modelling industry to a place where the general public knew the name of Shalom, or the name of Amber [Valetta], or the name of Linda [Evangelista], and it built a lot of interest in girls becoming models - they knew there was the possibility that if you live in Oshawa, where Shalom was from, you could still be a model. They didn't have to be in New York or L.A. to launch a career."
"It opened up a whole new opportunity for girls to think they could be a model, even if they weren't that blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl. They could still be a model even if they were unusual looking, or super skinny or really tall, or whatever.
The evolution of Shalom Harlow was one more feather in the cap for the agency and its owner. "Ann is a smart, honest business woman, which in this industry is such a good thing to have," says Reynolds in a matter-of-fact tone. "Especially to have an owner that's in the office, on top of things, hands-on, I think is great.
She has an MBA - she's a business woman that knows what it takes to run a successful business. She's not a fashion person that opened an agency. She had a plan and she's seen it through. But she's also a woman, and a mother, so there's the side of her that understands parents and girls.
"I think with me, and with Ann, the fact that we're moms - a lot of times parents come in and they're worried, but once you start chit-chatting and telling them 'I have a daughter too,' you can really feel them open up.